Max Dawson

According to 1 Kings 4:30 Solomon excelled in wisdom above all the men of the east and above all those in Egypt. He was the wisest of all men in the ancient world. The king not only excelled in wisdom, he also excelled in his work for God as he built the great temple.

The standard for Solomon’s work had been established by his father, King David. It was David who gathered materials and money for the building of the temple. First Chronicles 29 contains an inventory of all that David collected for that massive project. Here is what King David said about the character of the work his son was to do.

“My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the LORD God” (1 Chronicles 29:1).

Note that David said, “the work is great.” It was great in scope, as it was a huge task to build such an edifice. But it was also “great” in the sense that it would be for the Lord God, and thus the work must be done in the best way possible! It would require the finest materials and the finest craftsmen to do the work. That was King David’s plan.

And it was King Solomon who carried out this work in a most excellent way! When you read First Kings chapters 5-7, you will not only see the finest of materials that were used in the temple, but you will also see the precision and care with which the construction took place. King Solomon spared no expense as the work was done in a superior way.

Solomon secured the finest cedars from Lebanon through a treaty with Hiram, king of Tyre. For the foundation of the temple, Solomon ordered that costly stones be quarried. The stones were to be cut to size and finished at the quarry so that no hammer or chisel was heard in the temple as it was being built. (Read chapters five and six.)

The inside of the temple was lined with cedar so that no stone was visible. The cedar was then overlaid with gold. Even the furnishings of the temple were overlaid with gold!

Why all this expense and meticulous care in building? What did it matter about what kind of stones were used? Couldn’t the temple function without the expensive cedar and gold? Why did everything have to be so perfect?

Why? Because it was for God! David said, “…the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the Lord God” (1 Chronicles 29:1). David believed God deserved his best effort. Solomon believed the same. His work excelled because it was for the excellent God!

Kingdom leaders believe the same. In all that we do, we must give God our very best effort. Our work is not for man but for the Lord! I am not talking about our buildings (though we ought not to poor-boy everything). I am talking about our service to our Lord, our worship, our Bible studies–all that we do. Carelessness and half-hearted effort in serving God is unacceptable. “Anything goes” doesn’t go when it comes to serving God.

We serve the excellent God. We give Him our best effort. It’s what kingdom leaders do.

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